Thursday, November 03, 2011

US Patent 8049514 - Nanotube electron emitter for IC inspection

This patent from Micron Technology teaches a way to improve the resolution of in situ monitoring during the fabrication of integrated circuits by using electron emitting carbon nanotubes in place or the more conventional optical probing methods. Claim 1 reads:

1. A system for testing integrated circuit substrates, comprising:

a nanotube emitter assembly to transmit an electrical signal to an integrated circuit substrate; and

a sensor electrically coupled to the nanotube emitter assembly to sense current associated with the electrical signal and induced through the integrated circuit substrate,

wherein the nanotube emitter assembly is configured to dry etch insulation material from an incompletely etched recess of the integrated circuit substrate.